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BUSINESS


Under Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers in publicly traded companies are provided significant per- sonal financial incentives to disclose to the SEC “original” information concerning securities laws violations occurring within their companies. Te available financial “bounty” ranges from 10% to 30% of any financial recovery in excess of $1,000,000 that the SEC obtains from the tar- geted corporation, including penalties, disgorge- ment and interest.


Te Dodd-Frank Act also bans employer retaliation against any employee who provides information to the SEC. Te Act gives the whistleblower a private right of action in federal court to try to establish the unlawful retaliation. Remedies for the successful whistleblower may include reinstatement, double back pay with interest, expert witness fees, and attorney’s fees. Te rights and remedies available to whistleblow- ers under SOX may not be waived by pre-dispute arbitration agreements or releases.


On May 31, 2012, the Department of Labor’s Administrative Review Board ruled that the SOX whistleblower protections apply to employees of non-public companies that contract with public companies. Te holding expands the class of individuals protected by SOX. The Review Board issued the ruling despite an existing deci- sion by the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals limiting SOX whistleblower protection to employees of publicly traded companies


False Claims Act’s Whistleblower Protection Section 1079B of Dodd-Frank amends the anti- retaliation provision of the False Claims Act by expanding the definition of protected conduct to include “lawful acts done by the employee, con- tractor, or agent or associated others in further- ance of an action …”, thereby banning associational discrimination.


OSHA


• Solid Waste Disposal Act (including RCRA)


• Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act


• Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA)


• Toxic Substances Control Act


• Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994


• [Federal] Water Pollution Control Act (“Clean Water Act”)


• Welfare and Pensions Disclosure Act


• Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (“AIR 21”)


• Whistleblower Protection Act (federal government employees)


• Workforce Investment Act, (“Welfare to Work”), formerly Job Training and Partnership Act (JTPA)


About the author


E. Ray Stanford, Jr. is Founding Partner of the SIO Law Group in At- lanta, which specializes in workplace law, infor- mation law, litigation, and dispute resolution.


P: 404.991.7301 E: rstanford@siolaw.com W: www.siolaw.com


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Te Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission has become a primary source for whistleblowing. OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program enforces the whistleblower provisions of twenty-one whistleblower statutes protecting employees who report violations of various workplace safety, airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmen- tal, financial reform, food safety, health care reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime, and securities laws.


UAC MAGAZINE • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012


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